Before launching your site

shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
Before you launch your site, you should have done the following:
- Optimized your <title> tags on each page to contain 1 - 3 keywords
- Used appropriate markup where necessary (<h1>, <em>, etc.)
- Used keywords liberally yet appropriately throughout each page
- Designed the navigational structure of the site to channel PR to main pages (especially the homepage)
- Used Search Engine Friendly URLs (if necessary)
- Created a complete website with plenty of quality content
- Used keywords in your domain and url (http://www.keyword1.com/keyword2/keyword3.html)

Immediately after launching your site you should do the following:
- Submit your site, by hand, to all major search engines
- Submit your site to all free directories (dmoz, yahoo (if applicable), etc..)
- Begin a link building campaign (attempting to get keywords in the reciprocal link anchor text)

Finally, as part of an ongoing strategy:
- Continually update your website will quality content [fresh content]
- Continually seek free and reciprocal links preferably from sites in same or similar category
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topsites's Avatar
Go4Expert Member
I would highly recommed freeing your code of errors AND optimizing your images.
MOST sites out there have load-times in excess of 20 seconds for dial-up connections. America Online is the largest ISP in the world and Netzero and others hold a LARGE amount of dial-up customers and a LOT of people don't have broadband: If your site takes more than 12 seconds to load on a 28.8k modem (that's a 56k during primetime), then your site loses traffic in percentages and it is very simple:
Each second over 12 = 4-to-5% loss, outright.
18 seconds = 25% loss.
24 seconds = 50% loss - ALL your dial-up traffic is gone, at least 99.9% of it.
Yes, about half the www's visitors are dial-ups.

Of utmost importance is honesty: Trickery and deceit does NOT work because people are not stupid - NEVER underestimate your visitors, they are as smart if not smarter than we are. Most will not tolerate trickery, we've all had enough of it... You can play with them a little tiny bit but really it is best to stay away from it all together. Be upfront, if you want them to do something, ask them rather than put a link that says 'Click Here'
(By the way, a LOT of folk will NOT 'click here' and if it's a trick, they'll likely leave and not come back). Remember that at first most your traffic will consist of veteran surfers and not top-of-web stuff: They're not as fickle but they know what they want - Give them what your site says it does and you'll be fine.

Positiveness helps: Have a bad day on the Internet, and your traffic will leave. Do NOT work on your site in anger or frustration - If or when you do, fix it later.

Clutter: All sites have it but the less you have, the better.

Enter or Welcome screens: These are the sites you see where you first have to click a link to get to the main page. This will waste 25 percent of your traffic.

Music that plays on your site: Again 25 percent traffic is lost if music plays - Quiet is best.

Far as meta-tags you don't really need them. My site has them, MSN has them, but Yahoo does not and neither does Google. You may think they don't need them because they're already number one but if that were true, then why does Ebay and Microsoft's site have them?

It is a matter of preference and with SOME engines, meta-tags make a difference but please do not make the mistake of thinking meta-tags will boost your traffic. They CAN do that but if you think along those lines then it is possible you will suffer for attempting to spam an engine - Build your site for your visitors and let the engines do their job.

Here is what Meta-tags do for those engines that use them:
The TITLE and DESCRIPTION tags are used in the results instead of text on your web-page, generally resulting in a cleaner look but that means little to veteran surfers.
Here's the difference as it looks:
http://www.altavista.com/web/results...om&kgs=1&kls=0
(Notice how the Title + description is short and to the point - clean.)
http://www.altavista.com/web/results...om&kgs=1&kls=0
(Notice it's just text from their page - blablabla)

... And guess who gets more traffic? well no it ain't me, lol.

So it's up to you but keep this in mind: It doesn't hurt to create them as one day Google may lose it's popularity (back in the late 90's, Altavista was number one) and then it MIGHT make a difference and if you have them, you'll be ahead of the game BUT:
Keep the metas short and to the point, do NOT attempt to trick a spider or to gain ranking via repetition. Here is how I do it:
Title is exactly that and it would help if it was the same thing as that which is contained inside your <title> </title> tags.
Description describes the title a bit further, what is your site about.
Keywords: What you figure surfers might use when looking for your site and ALSO you can use those words which relate to the MOST important parts of what your site is about.
As a general rule, the first 3 keywords are the most important so find 4 or 5 of them and put them there.
Here is my Keyword tag:
<meta name="Keywords"
content="topsites,clipart, programs, games, awards, sounds" />
Ok so I used 6... I suppose you could use more but again the first 3 are the most important and I do *NOT* recommend repetition in any way so do not do: award, awards, sound, sounds, etc: Pick one or the other and you'll be better off.

When building your site, concentrate on your visitors and not the engines. If your site is built to attract engine traffic then it isn't built for visitors and it has a funny look to it. For the veteran surfer it means the webmaster is an engine spammer and it is quite possible the surfer will leave because this means only one thing: Dishonest admin. Yes if the admin is willing to trick the engines, who is to say they won't trick their visitors?
Just be honest and think of your visitors as the most important people in the world and you'll be fine.

Peace
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topsites's Avatar
Go4Expert Member
Yes definitely submit BY HAND!

Yup, one engine at a time.
Do NOT use software or those places that offer to do it for you.

Procedure:
Go to an engine/directory and make sure you spend some TIME there. 20 minutes for your first one should be good and read the RULES !
The better the fit of the engine to your site, the better your chances.
If it's a directory (i.e.: a categorized linklist), make sure there is a category that fits your site although in some cases 'miscellaneous' or 'other' works good. If the engine does NOT fit your site OR there exists no category for it, move along.
Far as the rules:
Let's say there are 10 rules.
If your site violates one *maybe* two rules you might give it a try but it is best if it violates NONE. In my case, my site usually violates the no-adult content rule however this does not always mean I can't get listed but it does mean take a second look:
If the engine/directory is specifically Children-safe, then the simple answer is NO (for me).
If, however, it is a general directory for ALL population then I might try it anyway (yes because a lot of engines/directories have that rule just because they're tired of being porn-site spammed because there's a TON of porn sites and they don't want them).

For an engine, usually there is an add-url form on the main page.
For a directory, the same can hold true but a lot of times the add-url / add link thing is inside the categories.
Yes, surf the categories so you can find the 3-4 cats that best fit your site. Over time you will learn the general layout remains fairly uniform throughout the Web and once you get good at it, it will take you no time to drill down to your specific niche.

For a good list of engines and directories, try:
http://best-web-directories.com/
http://allsearchengines.com/

Good Luck!
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shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
Quote:
Enter or Welcome screens: These are the sites you see where you first have to click a link to get to the main page. This will waste 25 percent of your traffic.
As suggested by Google Webmster guidelines they are called doorway pages and should be avoided.
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topsites's Avatar
Go4Expert Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by shabbir
As suggested by Google Webmster guidelines they are called doorway pages and should be avoided.
Yes you reminded me, there are three types of doorway pages...
The one I was referring to means no harm and was designed with no ill gain in mind. Specifically an enter page is a Welcome screen, it was created for that purpose and does not attempt to fool the spiders, but it requires an extra click from visitors. The ONLY reason this page is bad for traffic is because:
a) The extra click is more than some folk are willing to tolerate.
b) The spiders don't have much use for it as it usually is relatively empty of content.
Still, the Enter or Welcome screen is well-intended and is not an attempt at trickery or deceit. Should it be avoided? 25 % of visitors think so.
Engines do NOT penalize you for this but they rank these pages low due to lack of content.
...

A spam-tactic doorway page is created for the sole purpose of fooling engine spiders as it is a page crammed full of keywords, repeatedly. The page contains little if any useful content for visitors (other than sponsor and voting and other bs links) and was created with treachery and deceit in mind - Not only should this type of tactic be avoided, but feel free to avoid any sites whose admins are involved in designing such pages: They are spamming the engines, and if they're willing to trick the big guys, who is to say they'll be honest with you?
I can't find an example right now, but usually it's got a bunch of gobbledigook near the bottom, sometimes in fine print in a color very similar to the background - They don't want you to see the spam, it's just for the spiders, but then what's the use of that for you?
...

There is ONE type of doorway page which I have found of good use and I call this a true doorway page. Let me explain:
A true doorway page is a page which contains exactly what it says, nothing else and nothing less. It is designed to give visitors something specific, something cool and/or useful. If it happens to rank high for a specific search then that is a bonus and it may contain a link to the main site IF that is part of the design. This type of page is also accessible from the main site via a link for your visitors (and it is thus how it is spidered). Truthfully it really is just another page with content, and yes it requires actual work. On a sidenote, it takes just as much time and work to create a proper page as it does to create a trick one, so invest wisely and do it right in the first place: You will reap the benefits for being honest many times over.

For examples:

- I created the Bonnie and Clyde poem page:
http://atopqualitysite.com/bonnieandclyde.htm
(View-Source to see the no-nonsense design, not even title/descrip metas)
Which is linked from the Romance page near bottom here:
http://atopqualitysite.com/romance.htm
And yes it contains a link to the main page but that link ALSO exists on every single page of my site so it ispart of the design.
And it happens to rank as result number 4 on Google for search:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...and+clyde+poem

Some months I get 20-30 extra visitors, other months more like 4 or 5. Evidently some pages work better than others. I stumbled upon this method by coincidence when I was selling my old Ford Thunderbird on cars.com, I created a page so prospective buyers could look and read before they sent me an email - It saved me a LOT of haggle and hassle, and funny thing I later noticed Google was sending close to 100 visitors/month to the Thunderbird page ... The car was sold close to a year ago yet the page continues to thrive, so I left it up.
Again, same no-nonsense design, the page contains what it says:
http://atopqualitysite.com/thunderbird.htm
(View Source to see NO meta tags at all)
It is linked from some part of the site, I forgot where but linked it is
AND it just happens to rank as number 1 for search:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...rd+thunderbird

Whether or not any of these doorway page visitors actually bother to visit the rest of my site I do not know and it is not my concern - This specific doorway page is NOT created with the sole intention of gaining traffic but instead it gives visitors what they are looking for, without nonsense. Of course, the bonus is that you will get more traffic.

Another example is this one:
- 10 steps to increase car performance:
http://atopqualitysite.com/10steps.htm
Once more a no-nonsense design without metas where the page gives the visitor what they want, thou I did slip in a few sponsored things, dirty ole me :-)
It is linked from the bottom of my automotive page:
http://atopqualitysite.com/bikesandcars.htm
And once again, number 1 ranking on google for search:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...ar+performance
Visitor gain: 1-2 per day.

Now check out my Gold-mine:
Number ONE on Google for:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...ernet+explorer
NO meta tags!
OVER 300 visitors/month !
And yes, Google Adsense links.
Ok so this one spams a one-liner about visiting my site - Obviously the traffic can handle it, they haven't left yet - Always watch your traffic, if you spam a little and the traffic leaves, remove the spam and it should return.
http://atopqualitysite.com/speed.htm

Sprinkled with keywords? I guess maybe it is, but not intentionally - THAT is the difference, all these pages were not created with the intention of cheating or gaining a high ranking, they were created to give YOU what you asked for, period.

Probably best I can recommend is make your page related to your site AND about a subject you are familiar with - Sometimes copy-paste works good, sometimes original works best (Bonnie and Clyde is copy-paste AS IS speed-up-explorer, ford thunderbird and 10 steps was created from scratch). Then make it specific - fill it with one thing and one thing only, cover the subject and let it go. Link it from the appropriate section of your site and voila - Information works great, as does entertainment!

So you really CAN create good doorway pages just make sure you create them for your visitors when you design them, design them with people in mind and forget ALL about the engines and you should be fine.

Hope is help.

Last edited by topsites; 21Jun2005 at 06:48..